Twenty-Two Living Kidney Donors Climb Africa’s Tallest Mountain

Twenty-two living kidney donors will reach the summit of Mt. Kilimanjaro (altitude 19,341 feet) on March 10—World Kidney Day—and demonstrate that donating a kidney does not negatively affect the health or fitness of living kidney donors.

The 22 donors represent the Kidney Donor Athletes (KDA) organization and are supported by the National Kidney Registry (NKR) Sponsored Athletes program. “We are going to show people what is possible after donation,” said Bobby McLaughlin, kidney donor and President of Kidney Donor Athletes.

Kidney donor and climber Stephanie Meyer commented, “After my donation, I went back to running, doing all the things I used to do. I’ve done a half marathon, a triathlon. So, yeah, endurance wise, things have not changed at all.”

“Giving a kidney is almost indescribable,” said Steve Wilson, another member of the One Kidney Climb. “It feels so wonderful. And it’s raised my spirituality in a way I would have never imagined. I know a lot of people in the kidney donor community and I’ve never met one of them who regrets their decision. Not one.”

“When I donated my kidney, I looked for research on the impact of kidney donation on a donor’s athletic capacity—and found nothing,” commented Garet Hil, Founder and CEO of the NKR. “After donating my kidney, I tested myself over several years, setting new personal records in nearly every workout category, proving that donating a kidney did not negatively impact my health and fitness. The 22 donors climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro are taking this to a new level. The NKR is pleased to be able to back these amazing athletes as they tackle the tallest mountain in Africa.”

In a general population survey, 80% of respondents felt that donating a kidney would negatively affect their health. The Mt. Kilimanjaro climb refutes this widely held misconception by showcasing the impressive health and fitness of donors from around the country.

The 22 donors climbing Kilimanjaro are from 16 metro areas across the United States and Canada. The climbers will be documenting the entire quest. To follow their trek, go to and

Follow the climb on Facebook at /kidneydonorathlete or Instagram at /kidney_donor_athletes.

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Founding Sponsors

  • National Kidney Foundation
  • National Kidney Registry
  • National Kidney Donation Organization